The blog formerly known as   Fake Plastic Fish

Category Archives: water filters

February 13, 2009

Gimme5, Brita, Preserve, and You!

Can you believe that the day this photo was taken I was so sick I could barely stand up?

I wrote all about the culmination of the Take Back The Filter campaign in a post on the Take Back The Filter web site, but I forgot to write about it here… until today. Michael woke me up from a sound sleep this morning with the news that I and the campaign had made the front page of a very important newspaper. Better than the NY Times, I made our local East Bay Express.

Seriously, the article “The Blogger and the Bleach Company” is very well-written and balanced, describing the reasons behind the campaign as well as its results. And reading it, I realize how important it is now that the recycling program has been created that we support it and make sure Brita users know it exists. If no one actually returns their filters for recycling, the program could fail and be discontinued.

Here’s the deal: Preserve has created a recycling program called Gimme5Read the rest

November 18, 2008

Brita® and Preserve® Announce Filter Recycling Program

After months of campaigning to urge Brita to take back and recycle used Brita filters, we (the Take Back The Filter group) are thrilled to announce the details of the take-back recycling program that Brita has developed. Read their full press release here.

1) Collection: Beginning in early January, Brita users will be able to drop off used filters at Whole Foods Markets or mail them to an address which will be provided closer to the start date. [From personal experience, I would recommend NOT sealing them up in ZipLoc bags. This just ends up creating a lot of soggy, wet, not-so-nice smelling filters.]

2) Recycline, dba Preserve, the company that makes recycled toothbrushes, razors, and other household products, will recycle 100% of each plastic filter casing collected into other household products.

3) The filter ingredients, activated carbon and ion-exchange resin will be regenerated for alternative use or converted into energy.

The Take Back… Read the rest

May 20, 2008

"Take Back The Filter" takes on "Bay to Breakers"!

Well, I put out the call, and Tanya and Christa volunteered to help me, dressed as a BRITA filter, get across San Francisco. They came over Saturday night, along with my friend Mark who pretty much majored in costumes and makeup in college, to work on costumes and signs and eat pizza. (BTW, we ordered pizza from Rustica on College Ave and requested it be delivered without that little plastic thing in the middle that keeps the lid from sticking to the cheese. And you know what? The lid and cheese did just fine without that little plastic thing.)

Here’s a link to the full article on the Take Back The Filter site.

And here’s a link to more photos from the day.

Along the way, dese frat guys with some kine beer machine begged me to be da first water filter to do a “full extension.” Wow. That sure was tempting. But I was on a mission and politely declined their generous offer.

Gotta run. Gotta finish up my work and get home so Mark and I can put the… Read the rest

May 14, 2008

Dare me to dress like a BRITA filter and walk across SF?

This could be me at this Sunday’s SF Bay to Breakers because, you know, I have a Barbie Doll body and a giant BRITA filter cartridge in my living room. It could be me if I can get at least one volunteer to walk the 12K (7.65 miles) with me, hold my water bottle, and pass out flyers to the cheering crowds. I’d love to have a whole team of people walking with us and wearing signs that say “” But it will only take one confirmed volunteer to get me to actually do it.

Why can’t Terrible Person walk with me? Why, because he is running the Bay to Breakers, attempting to break his personal awesome record time of 56 minutes last year. Michael trained. Beth did not. Michael will be finished in under an hour. Beth will be sweating in a cardboard costume for over two, probably. But there’s karaoke at The Mint afterwards. And if that’s not incentive enough, I just don’t know what is!

Don’t… Read the rest

April 14, 2008

Brita Take Back The Filter campaign has begun!

Okay, remember all my posts about how frustrating it was that Brita filter cartridges can be recycled in Europe but not in the U.S.? And how we had our water tested and found it perfectly fine without plastic water filter cartridges? Well, giving up water filters was a fine decision for us here in the SF Bay Area where we have some of the best water in the nation. But it’s not a great solution for folks in other areas of North America that may not.

If you’ll recall, I set up a recycle_brita Yahoo! group to plan strategy for a campaign to urge Clorox, the company that owns Brita in North America, to develop a similar Take Back Recycling Program for Brita cartridges here. Now, after several months of writing to Clorox and planning our strategy, I’m happy to announce that the Take Back The Filter campaign has officially begun. Join us in asking Clorox to:

1) Redesign its Brita filter cartridges so that the plastic housing can be refilled rather… Read the rest

January 15, 2008

Naughty kitties pass the test, as does our drinking water!

I was surprised how easily the kitties went into the box two weeks ago. The blue plastic box that I got from a very nice person on Freecycle. They were so quiet in there, I had to check a couple of times to make sure I hadn’t imagined putting them in. Good thing they get along with each other. We will need to get another cat carrier for when they are bigger and can’t both be stuffed into the same box. Freecycle or Craigslist. No new plastic for these cats!

So we went to the vet and got shots and blood drawn. Well, they did. I just felt their pain from a distance. And today we got the results. No toxoplasma gondii for these babies. Their poop is certified flushable, as is their litter! And pregnant women are safe in my house. Hurray! We’re still using the Swheatscoop litter, although I’m not crazy about the smell. I do sprinkle baking soda into it to absorb odors. I’ve heard that pine litter is good. But I really do want something that’s… Read the rest

November 14, 2007

Multi-Pure, my Cupboards, and the Perils of PVC

This past week, I panicked when I discovered that the tubing used in my new Multi-Pure counter top water filter system, which I bought in place of the Brita we had been using, is made from virgin PVC.

As I wrote on October 29, I was already somewhat disenchanted with Multi-Pure because of the volume of plastic bubble wrap in which the unit and filter cartridge were wrapped. But it wasn’t until the unit was installed and working that I actually read the fine print and discovered the more serious problem of PVC used in the product itself.

When I called Multi-Pure to address this issue, I was told that the tubing had been tested by NSF and found not to leach anything harmful into the water. However, the rep was unable to confirm whether phthalates such as DEHP, the chemicals that are the biggest worry, were included in the list of possible contaminants for which to be tested. But regardless of whether or not this particular tubing is leaching anything harmful… Read the rest

July 10, 2007

Brita water filter follow up

04/14/2008 Update: If you’ve reached this page because you want to know how to recycle Brita filter cartridges in North America, please visit for more information about the campaign to urge Clorox (owner of Brita in North America) to develop a take-back recycling program for these cartridges!

I received the following e-mail from Brita yesterday in response to my 2nd e-mail to them:

From: “Brita Consumer Services” To: Subject: Reference Number: 4959167 Date: Mon, 9 Jul 2007 16:48:09 -0500

Ms. Beth Terry [address omitted] Reference Number: 4959167

Dear Ms. Terry,

Thank you for writing back.

The technology used in the filters in some countries is different than what is used in the USA. This is why our filters are not considered recyclable. I apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

Again, thank you for contacting us.

Sincerely,… Read the rest